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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-17-2019

The [Fairmont] West Virginian, October 17, 1919:

The baseball contest is over and many of us are heartily glad of it. That it was interesting few are grouchy enough to deny, but why should it deserve headlines six inches high while news of the President’s health was given in much smaller type? That, passeth understanding.

I’ll give them this: The West Virginian did spend the first part of October 1919 running non-baseball news on the front page. There was more about Woodrow Wilson than Kid Gleason.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-16-2019

Hugh Fullerton on the 1919 World Series in the Memphis News Scimitar, October 16, 1919:

“They spilled the dope terribly. Almost everything went backward, so much so that an evil-minded person might believe the stories that have been circulated during the series. The fact is that this series was lost in the first game, and lost through over confidence. Forget the suspicious and evil-minded yarns that may be circulated.”

Fullerton, of course, was one of the key figures in breaking the story that the Sox had indeed thrown the Series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 16, 2019 at 12:54 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-15-2019

Ogden Standard, October 15, 1919:

Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle has completed his career as a Coast league magnate, and Ed R. Maier is about to make his re-entry into baseball.
“I secured an option,” said Arbuckle, “and intended to buy the club. But it looks as though they do not want me to have it. The price placed on the Vernon team and franchise was $65,000. When the option expired I offered to take the team and pay $35,000 down. I thought that a fair proposition. But cash was demanded, and cash deals of that size are not a habit in baseball. This, and the fact that the territorial rights here have not been settled, forced me to forego the deal. So I guess I am through with baseball as far as the Coast league is concerned, except as a booster.”

In retrospect, it’s just as well. Arbuckle spent most of the early 1920s defending himself from charges that he killed a woman. (He was finally acquitted after three trials. The jury deliberated for six minutes, five of them spent writing a formal apology to Arbuckle for what had happened to him.) The whole ordeal bankrupted a guy who had very recently been one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

El Paso Herald, October 15, 1919:

Houdini, the “handcuff king,” wants to become a baseball magnate. Recently he wired J.A. Calewind, president of the Pacific Coast league, as follows: “Learn your franchise is for sale. Am interested. Wire particulars.”

I’ve tried, but genuinely cannot figure out who the heck J.A. Calewind was. He sure wasn’t the president of the PCL. Anyone got any ideas?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 15, 2019 at 10:38 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, October 14, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-14-2019

Columbus Dispatch, October 14, 1919:

Ed Barrow, manager of the Boston Red Sox, declares that Babe Ruth will touch the .400 mark as a hitter in 1920. Barrow gives cause for his statement by declaring that he will endeavor to have Ruth shorten his swing, which may not result in such a cluster of home runs as he scored this year, but will bring more short hits, which, of course, will boost his stick average accordingly.

Ruth didn’t hit .400 in 1920. He also didn’t shorten his swing, hit fewer home runs, or play for Ed Barrow.

The Babe was playing in the Bronx in 1920 and he only hit .376/.532/.847 with 54 home runs. Could have hit .400 if only he’d shortened that swing and looked for singles.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, October 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-11-2019

New York Sun, October 11, 1919:

President Comiskey of the White Sox [yesterday] declared he would give $20,000 for a single clue to lead to evidence that any of his players had deliberately attempted to throw any of the world series games to the Cincinnati Reds, for, the owner declared, he was sure of the fidelity of his players. Some of the players had taken to heart rumors given considerable circulation that a few of their number may have acted for a monetary consideration during the series.

“There is always scandal of some kind following a big sporting event like the world’s series,” said President Comiskey in denouncing the rumors. “These yarns are manufactured out of whole cloth and grow out of bitterness due to losing wagers.

“I believe my boys fought the battle of the recent world’s series on the level, as they have always done, and I would be the first to want information to the contrary. I would give $20,000 to any one unearthing any information to that effect.”

Charlie doth protest too much, methinks.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 10:22 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-8-2019

Pendleton East Oregonian, October 8, 1919:

The White Sox fighting spirit triumphed again today, Chicago taking the seventh game of the series from the Reds on their own grounds, 4 to 1. The Sox victory brought the game count four to three in favor of the Reds.

Eddie Cicotte, twice beaten by the Reds, came back and proved himself despite his two earlier defeats. The little veteran worked coolly and effectively throughout, although frequently in danger. He had just enough in reserve, however, to turn back the National League champions, who fought bitterly to the end.

Game Eight is tomorrow in Chicago. Lefty Williams will take the hill for the Sox seeking his first victory of the Series. Cincinnati plans to counter with Hod Eller.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 08, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Monday, October 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-7-2019

Pittsburgh Press, October 7, 1919. White Sox manager Kid Gleason discusses his team’s play in Game Five of the World Series, which Cincinnati won to take a 4-1 lead in the best-of-nine series:

There’s no explanation. The Whitesox haven’t been hitting and weren’t hitting in the last game, and that accounts for it.
To make [a play in the sixth inning] worse, Risberg messed the relay. He tried to intercept the ball after Eller had stopped at second and left it get away from him and Eller went on to third…I think that ball ought to have been caught. The wind carried it away from Jackson when he started after it. Felsch could have caught it.
[Later in the inning,] Roush hit a long fly to deep center. I wish I could say just how many times Felsch has run back and taken fly balls exactly like that one this summer. I figured it a sure catch. But this was the one that Felsch let get away. He was close enough to get his hands on it but it got away from him and went for a triple and two more runs scored. That thing settled the ball game.

It’s painful to watch this play out. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it kind of sounds like Gleason thinks something’s up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 07, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Friday, October 04, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-4-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, October 4, 1919:


How Runs Were Put Over Today
Fifth inning—With Roush out, Duncan rolled an easy grounder to Cicotte, which the pitcher proceeded to toss to the stands. Kopf singled to left, and Duncan scored when Cicotte allowed Jackson’s throw to get away from him. Kopf reached second on the play. Kopf counted on Neale’s double over Jackson’s head. Wingo and Ring were easy outs for Collins and Gandil. Two runs.

Man, Eddie Cicotte has been really unlucky in this series. And come to think of it, Jackson’s normally a better outfielder than that. Weird.

With the 2-0 win in Game Four, the Reds now lead the best of nine series 3-1.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 04, 2019 at 11:39 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-3-2019

Pendleton East Oregonian, October 3, 1919:

Hats off to “Little Dickie” Kerr, midget pitcher of the Sox. He did what the two highly touted aces of the Sox staff failed to accomplish, turning in a shutout victory for Chicago in the third game of the series, 3 to 0.

Dickie is the smallest pitcher in the big leagues, but he is the biggest thing the Reds have encountered in many a day. He is hardly larger than the bat he swings but this mite of a southpaw not only stopped the stampede of the Reds but blanked them, holding the Moran wrecking crew to three lonely singles, distributed in as many innings.

Not one red reached first base after the fifth inning and Kerr had them swinging wide at fast breaking curves and popping up weakly when they swung at his slow ones. Kerr displayed the courage of a veteran against the mighty maulters who broke the heard of Cicotte and Williams. Despite the fact that it was his maiden appearance in a big league classic, he pitched one of the best games in world’s series history.

It’s remarkable how much easier it is to win a baseball game when you’re not trying to lose.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2019

Bismarck Tribune, October 2, 1919:

Scoring only four clean hits off Williams’ delivery, but making every hit count for a run, and in spite of ten bingles made by the White Sox off Sallee’s delivery, and notwithstanding two errors checked up against the National league champs, the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon annexed the second game in the world’s series by a score of 4 to 2.
Williams pitched stellar ball from start to finish, and had his support been perfect the fatal third inning trio would not have been recorded.

Dang. Bad luck so far for the White Sox. It’s nobody’s fault; these things just happen sometimes.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-1-2019

Marshalltown [Iowa] Evening Times-Republican, October 1, 1919:

First Inning.
Cincinnati—Rath up. Rath was hit by a pitched ball. He was hit on the back and walked to first.
Fourth Inning.
Cincinnati—Rousch [sic]flied to Felsch. Duncan up. Ball one. Duncan singled to Center. Cicotte took Kopf’s drive, throwing out Duncan at second. Wingo up. Wingo doubled to right, scoring Kopf and butting Neale on third. Reuther up. Ball one. Neale and Wingo scored on Reuther’s triple to the center field bleachers. Rath up. Ball one, ball two. Rath doubled, Reuther scoring. Daubert up. Ball one, strike one. Ball two. Ball three. Daubert singled to right, scoring Rath. Groh up. Wilkinson replaced Cicotte.

It has begun.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 01, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Monday, September 30, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 30, 1919:

With every available seat and every available space for standing room in the enclosure of Redland Field, supposed to accommodate 33,000 baseball enthusiasts, assigned or sold, everything appears to be in readiness tonight for the opening game of the world’s championship baseball series of 1919 [tomorrow].

Never before in the history of [Cincinnati] have such scenes been enacted as were visible [yesterday] in the hotels. The desks of the hostelries were packed three deep with visitors trying to obtain sleeping accommodations, and these were being added to as every incoming train arrived.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, Buck Weaver’s wife has a plan to save the extra money he’ll make from the World Series. I sure hope so.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 30, 2019 at 09:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 27, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-27-2019

El Paso Herald, September 27, 1919:

Arnold Statz, kid outfielder of the Giants, is conceded the golf championship of baseball without a struggle. Statz has defeated Francis Ouimet and others.

From what I’ve read, Jigger had the potential to be one of the best golfers in the country, but baseball was a much more lucrative option at the time. He was a hell of a hitter, too, finishing his pro career with 4,093 career hits. He had 200+ hits in a PCL season nine times and 250+ hits twice. They had a 200 game season, but still. That’s a bunch of hits.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 27, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-26-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 26, 1919:

In an exhibition game [in Harrisburg yesterday] the Klein Chocolate Company’s team defeated the Boston American League team by the score of 4 to 0. Ritter held the Sox to five hits and twice fanned Babe Ruth in a pinch. Klein landed on Ruth for all of its runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Ritter no doubt told this story to his children and grandchildren a million times. I would have, too.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 26, 2019 at 09:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-25-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 25, 1919:

Ruth Hits His 28th Homer; Major Record

The Boston Redsox shut out the Yankees, 4 to 0, in the first game of a double-header here today, and then lost a 1-inning battle by 2 to 1…Ruth broke the home run record of 27 by Ed Williamson, in 1884, by driving the ball over the roof of the right field grandstand in the ninth inning of the second game.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, the Phillies celebrated Fred Luderus Day yesterday, honoring his consecutive games streak that’s now up to 525 in a row. NL President John Heydler presented Luderus a diamond stickpin and Phillies president William Baker gave his first baseman a gold watch.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 25, 2019 at 10:40 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-24-2019

Harrisburg Telegraph, September 24, 1919:

Jack Coombs, former major league baseball player, was shot in the leg while engaged in a dispute over the right of way on a country road near [Palestine, Texas] last night. Coombs was driving his car along a narrow road, closely followed by Dan Laroe, a road contractor, who, according to Coombs, tried to pass him. Coombs said he stopped his car and the quarrel followed.

Laroe asserted his gun was accidentally discharged when he struck at Coombs as the latter attempted to leave his car. Both men expressed regret over the accident.

That probably went something like “I’m sorry I shot you.” “I’m sorry you shot me.”

Anyway, Coombs appears to have been okay. He made two appearances in the big leagues in 1920 and lived to be 74 years old.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 24, 2019 at 10:02 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 23, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 23, 1919:

It is believed that Sunday’s Superba-Red game established a major record for brevity. The full nine innings were played, including the last half of the ninth, as the Reds were behind and had to finish that inning. The exact time was 55 minutes. The world’s record for brevity in a nine-inning game is 32 minutes, made by the Mobile and Atlanta clubs at Atlanta on September 17, 1910. It was the last game of the season and the players agreed to make it as short as possible, running in and out from their positions at full speed and hustling in every way to save time.

Unless something happened recently and I missed it, the longest inning in baseball history came on May 8, 2004, when the Tigers and Rangers took 68 minutes to play the fifth inning.

In the length of time that single Rangers-Tigers inning took to play, you could play the entire Atlanta-Mobile game, take five minutes to let new teams take the field (we’re hurrying, after all), and play more than half of the September 21, 1919 Brooklyn-Cincinnati game.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 23, 2019 at 10:10 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2019

Bridgeport Times, September 20, 1919:


When Skipper Gleason of the good ship White Sox starts marshaling his crew for a cruise on the 1920 pennant seas, he faces a task that will make his efforts in landing the 1919 American League pennant pale into insignificance. Almost unanimous will be the demands of his otherwise orderly mates for salary increases commensurate with their efforts in bringing the 1919 pennant to the Windy City.
“We’ve given Comiskey and the White Sox our best efforts all season, and some of us suffered a cut in salary over the previous season,” said one of the members of the team, “but there must be a substantial increase in my pay check, and I know I speak for the other fellows, before we’ll play on the South Side again. Players who do not compare in ability with men at the same positions on the Sox are drawing down more money a year than we are, and this must not be.”


Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 19, 1919:

Schreiber, the recruit who has been playing third base while Groh is out of the lineup with an injured finger, refused to put on a uniform in the game with the Dodgers [yesterday], because he was not allotted a full share of the world’s series receipts. At a meeting of the Cincinnati players this morning, it was stated that every man on the team should have a full share except Duncan, Schreiber and See, who have been with the team only about a month. These three were voted half a share each.

With Groh injured and Schreiber having a tantrum, Sherry Magee made his one and only career appearance at third base. He had one assist, no putouts, and no errors.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hank Schreiber played his final game in a Reds uniform about a week later. His MLB career consisted of 36 games spread over five seasons, with a .198/.207/.253 batting line. The combination of not being able to hit and refusing to play tends to be difficult to overcome.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 19, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, tantrums

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 18, 1919:

Gamblers Hurting Big Leagues

The alleged scandals involving certain baseball players and probably engendered by the vicious gambling which has been allowed in big league ball parks this year, took a wild and ridiculous trend yesterday when some person, probably a gambler, brought Al Mamaux’ name into the discussion.

Mamaux was primed to work against [Pittsburgh] yesterday, but Manager Robinson decided to switch to a lefthander…Somebody voiced the silly remark that Mamaux was to “throw” the game in the sixth inning, if he had worked. If the “tip” were not an injustice to the pitcher’s name it would be funny. In the first place Mamaux would not attempt such an action for financial remuneration and in the second place it is quite a trick to “throw” a game without other members of the team and the public being “wise.”

Public gambling has reached an acute stage in baseball. The habit cannot harm the purity of the great game, but it may work injury to its professional aspects if it is not curbed.

Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about gambling. It can’t hurt the purity of our game. (Weirdly, there’s a cartoon about Eddie Cicotte immediately above the linked article.)

With regard to Mamaux, it would be weird if he were a dishonest player. His parents were millionaires, so I can’t imagine he’d need to sell his self-respect for a few bucks. Maybe he did it, but I sure don’t see a motive.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-17-2019

Essex County [Vermont] Herald, September 17, 1919:

Way back in ‘89 Cincinnati was playing one afternoon with Chris Von Der Ahe’s St. Louis aggregation on the St. Louis grounds.
Cliff Carroll was playing center field for the St. Louis nine. The Cincinnati batter hit a slow grounder to center, and Carroll ran up to gather it in…Just before it reached him the ball hit a clump of dirt and bounded high. Carroll grabbed for it with both hands, just as it hit him in the chest. Somehow in the struggle the ball was wedged into the pocket of Carroll’s uniform shirt. It got in there, and Cliff had a terrible time trying to get it out.
The result was that the [batter] got home safely and Cincinnati won the game. Von Der Ahe almost had a fit. He fined Carroll fifty for putting the ball in his pocket and made a rule that thereafter no pockets of any kind should be allowed in the uniforms of his team.

It’s a neat story that gets repeated a lot, but I can’t find any contemporary accounts of it actually happening. The Red Stockings hit one inside-the-park home run against the Browns in 1889, by George Tebeau in Cincinnati on July 18, 1889. There’s absolutely no mention of Carroll losing the ball in his pocket in the next week’s issue of The Sporting Life, and no reports in the Library of Congress newspaper archive site. I’ll stop short of saying this didn’t happen; I haven’t done anywhere near enough research to state that unequivocally. I’ll just say that if it happened, either it wasn’t ruled a home run (which it sounds like it should have been) or it didn’t happen the way it’s described here.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 17, 2019 at 10:49 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, September 16, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-16-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 16, 1919:

John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants, has conceded the National league pennant to the Cincinnati club, according to a message received last night by club officials here. The message stated that McGraw was returning here and had appointed Coach Christy Mathewson temporary manager.

The Reds can clinch first place by defeating the Giants today. As New York is assured of second place, McGraw intends to go to Texas from New York, to look after business interests.

“Screw you guys, I’m goin’ home.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-13-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 13, 1919:

Gene McCann, scout of the Cincinnati Reds and one of Baseball’s wise men, believes that the whole weight of the coming world’s series rests upon the shoulders of Eddie Cicotte, the Whitesox shine ball pitcher.

“Cicotte will go in for the first game against the Reds,” says McCann. “If he wins, the Sox, a great ball club, and full of nerve, must be given an even chance against the Reds. But if the Reds thrash Cicotte in that opening contest, the stuff is off—the Reds can be set down as future champions of the world.”

That was so much more true than McCann could know.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 13, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-12-2019

Washington Times, September 12, 1919:

If Ban Johnson, American League president, has any sense whatsoever of the fitness—or the unfitness—of things he’ll quit his job, was the opinion expressed today by Col. Jacob Ruppert, part owner of the New York Yankees.

Johnson’s throne is about to topple, anyway, according to Ruppert, and abdication now would be a timely act.

The legal action started by the Yankee owners to prevent Ban from interfering with Pitcher Carl Mays ended yesterday with a hearing before Referee George Gillespie. The testimony is now in the hands of Supreme Court Justice Wagner. The final hearing brought a statement from Johnson that he had owned stock in the Boston team, as well as in the Cleveland club.

Jeez, Col. Ruppert. Tell us how you really feel.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 12, 2019 at 10:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-11-2019

New York Tribune, September 11, 1919:

Ray Caldwell, the prodigal of the American League, only recently kicked out of the Boston Red Sox, came back yesterday and pitched a no-hit game for the Cleveland Indians against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds.
Caldwell, the erratic, the temperamental, the undependable, shut out “Murderers’ Row,” the hardest sluggers in the league, with the might of the arm that they said had gone bad, and with the steel of the nerve that they said he had lost.
The crowd was with Caldwell, the prodigal, despite the fact that he was working for Ban Johnson’s team, the Indians, for the prodigal always was a likeable wastrel. Even after he had driven managers to desperation he could win them back with that compelling grin of his.

A couple weeks earlier, Caldwell was hit by lightning while on the mound but finished the game. Things were never dull when Ray Caldwell was around.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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